Essential Report

Important Election Issues

May 10, 2010

Q8. Which are the three most important issues in deciding how you would vote at a Federal election? (Number from 1 to 3 where 1 is the most important, 2 the second most important, etc)

  One Two Three Total Total

25 Jan 10

Difference
Management of the economy 34% 18% 10% 62% 63% -1%
Ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system  14% 20% 16% 50% 48% +2%
Australian jobs and protection of local industries 8% 10% 11% 29% 33% -4%
Ensuring a fair taxation system 5% 8% 9% 22% 18% +4%
Ensuring a quality education for all children 3% 7% 9% 19% 23% -4%
Housing affordability 6% 5% 6% 17% 14% +3%
Controlling interest rates 5% 5% 6% 16% 15% +1%
Managing population growth 3% 4% 7% 14% *  
Protecting the environment 3% 5% 5% 13% 16% -3%
Political leadership 5% 3% 4% 12% 23% -11%
Addressing climate change 4% 4% 4% 12% 16% -4%
Fair immigration policies 3% 4% 3% 10% *  
A fair industrial relations system 2% 4% 3% 9% 10% -1%
Ensuring a quality water supply 2% 2% 3% 7% 12% -5%
Security and the war on terrorism 2% 2% 3% 7% 9% -2%

*Not asked in January 2010 poll

 62% of people surveyed rate management of the economy is one of their three most important issues, followed by 50% that rate ensuring the quality of Australia’s health system and 29% that rate Australian jobs and protection of local industries as one of their three most important issues.

 Only 9% rate a fair industrial relations system as one of their three most important issues and 7% rate security and the war on terrorism and ensuring a quality water supply. 

 The major change since the previous survey in January, was a drop in the importance of political leadership from 23% to 12%. Ensuring a fairer tax system has risen slightly from 18% to 22%. Comments »

Government Performance

Apr 27, 2010

Q6. How would you rate the Federal Government’s performance in handling the following issues?

  Total good Total poor Very good Good Poor Very poor   Not sure
Stimulating the economy to address the economic crisis 63% 29% 21% 42% 19% 10% 8%
Handling the economy in such a way as to minimize job losses during the recent economic crisis 59% 29% 15% 44% 18% 11% 12%
Trying to find ways to improve the health care system 50% 39% 10% 39% 24% 15% 12%
Replacing the Workchoices industrial laws 44% 36% 13% 31% 22% 14% 20%
Standing up for Australian working families 43% 45% 9% 34% 24% 21% 13%
Balancing the interests of business and Australian workers 39% 43% 5% 34% 25% 18% 18%
The school buildings program 31% 56% 5% 25% 29% 27% 14%
Introducing an emissions trading scheme 28% 57% 3% 25% 28% 29% 15%
Handling the issue of asylum seekers 18% 72% 3% 15% 28% 43% 10%

 A majority of respondents rated the Government’s performance good or very good for  “Stimulating the economy to address the economic crisis” (63%), “Handling the economy in such a way as to minimize job losses during the recent economic crisis” (59%) and “Trying to find ways to improve the health care system” (50%).

 A majority rated the Government’s performance poor or very poor for “Handling the issue of asylum seekers” (72%), “Introducing an emissions trading scheme” (57%) and “The school buildings program” (56%).

 The only issue on which less than half Labor voters rated the Government performance as good/very good was “Handling the issue of asylum seekers” (34% good/58% poor). Comments »

Tax

Apr 27, 2010

Q8. Do you think Australians pay –

Too much tax 61%
Too little tax 4%
About the right amount 28%
Don’t know 7%

61% think Australians pay too much tax and 28% think Australians pay about the right amount.

72% of full-time workers think we pay too much tax but there were no significant differences by income level.

Labor and Liberal/National voters also gave similar responses. Comments »

Issues related to workplace staffing

Apr 6, 2010

Q. Over the last 12 months, has the business you work for cut back on staff, increased staff or have staffing levels stayed much the same?

  %
Increased staff 13%
Cut back on staff 26%
Stayed much the same 57%
Don’t know 4%

N=532

Only asked to those in employment

For those currently employed, over half (57%) indicated that staffing levels have stayed much the same at their place of employment. 26% indicated that over the past 12 months, the business they work for has cut back on staff, 13% indicated that staffing levels have increased and 4% don’t know.

There were no significant differences in terms of public or private workplaces; however people employed in the public sector were slightly more likely than those in the private sector to indicate there has been a cut back on staff in their workplace (29% v 25%).  Comments »

Australia’s economy

Apr 6, 2010

Q. How important are each of the following for Australia to have a strong economy?

  Very important Somewhat important Not so important Don’t know
Low inflation 43% 42% 5% 10%
Low unemployment rate 57% 33% 3% 6%
Increased company profits 17% 46% 26% 11%
Low interest rates 38% 43% 10% 9%
A reduction in Government spending 35% 38% 19% 9%
Higher GDP 27% 41% 6% 26%
Increasing share prices 20% 40% 23% 16%
Increased wages for workers 30% 48% 15% 7%

Over half (57%) of those surveyed think that low unemployment rates is a very important for Australia to have a strong economy, 43% think low inflation is very important and 38% think low interest rates are very important. 

Labor voters were more likely to think that increased wages for workers are very important for Australia to have a strong economy (36%).  

Coalition voters were more likely to think that increased company profits (22%), a reduction in Government spending (48%) and an increasing in share prices (23%) are very important for Australia to have a strong economy. 

There were no substantial differences amongst the various demographic groups.  Comments »

Party best at looking after Australia’s interests

Mar 22, 2010

Q.  Which party – Labor or Liberal – would by best at the following –

  Labor Liberal No difference Don’t know
Being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace 48% 18% 24% 10%
Handling the economy in a way that best protects ordinary working people in Australia 39% 30% 20% 11%
Creating jobs for Australian workers 36% 27% 26% 11%
Representing you and people like you 35% 30% 24% 11%
Handling the economy 30% 37% 23% 10%
Controlling inflation 24% 35% 31% 11%
Keeping interest rates low 23% 29% 35% 13%
Dealing with the budget and keeping government spending down in general 22% 42% 26% 10%

Just under half (48%) of those surveyed think that Labor is the best party at being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace, 39% think Labor is best at handling the economy in a way that protects ordinary working people in Australia. 

The Liberal Party score highest in terms of dealing with the budget and keeping government spending down in general (42%) and handling the economy (37%). 

 In terms of being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to issues affecting them at the workplace, under half (46%) of Coalition voters surveyed think the Liberal Party is best at handling this, 33% of these voters think there is no difference and 16% of Coalition voters think Labor is best at being on the side of Australian working people when it comes to workplace issues.  Comments »

Population growth in Australia – statements of agreement

Mar 1, 2010

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements about Australia’s population growth?

  Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
We just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth 75% 19% 36% 39% 14% 5% 6%
Immigration should be slowed as it causes too much change to our society 64% 29% 32% 32% 20% 9% 7%
Australia has a fragile environment that cannot cope with a much larger population 61% 30% 24% 37% 24% 6% 8%
Having a larger population will help our economy 38% 52% 7% 31% 34% 18% 10%
Australia has the space and resources to cope with a much larger population 35% 58% 8% 27% 31% 27% 7%

 When it comes to statements about population growth, most people agree that we just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth (75%).   64% agree that immigration should be slowed as it causes too much change to our society and 61% think Australia has a fragile environment that cannot cope with a much larger population.  More than half (58%) disagree that Australia has the space and resources to cope with a much larger population. 

 Labor voters were more likely to agree that having a larger population will help our economy (42%) and disagree that we just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth (23%). 

 Coalition voters were more likely to agree that we just don’t have the infrastructure and services to manage more population growth (82%) and agree that immigration should be slowed as it causes too much change to our society (74%). 

 Greens voters were more likely to agree that Australia has a fragile environment that cannot cope with a much larger population (66%).  Comments »

Productivity in Australia

Feb 2, 2010

Q. The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd recently said that over the next decade Australia must build the best educated, best skilled and best trained workforce in the world to increase productivity and counter the effects of an ageing population. Do you agree or disagree?

  %
Total agree 82%
Total disagree 8%
Strong agree 34%
Agree 48%
Disagree 6%
Strongly disagree 2%
Don’t know 10%

 The majority of those surveyed agree with Kevin Rudd’s recent comments that over the next decade Australia must build the best educated, best skilled and best trained workforce in the world to increase productivity and counter the effects of an ageing population (82%), 8% disagree with the comments and 10% don’t know. 

 Results were consistent amongst most demographic groups.  However, Labor voters were more likely to strongly agree with Rudd’s statements (46%).  Comments »

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